post-climaxA few researchers investigate neurochemical events that take place at, and following, climax. Most of this work employs animals because the techniques are invasive.

Subconscious changes after climax may have major, as yet largely ignored, implications for our perceptions, mood and choices. For example, research reveals that after a rat satiates himself sexually (which is how rats normally mate, and requires an average of 2.5 hours and up to 7 ejaculations), he exhibits an initial cycle of measurable effects.

This natural cycle lasts 96 hours. It is the first part of an even longer cycle. During this time the rat’s sexual motivation (libido) is nil-to-sluggish, and he is hyper-reactive to a variety of drugs. After these four days, he can copulate more than once, but it will take him 15 days to return to his full appetite. According to the scientists:

The long lasting character of both [sluggish libido and hypersensitivity] can only be explained by the occurrence of brain plastic changes that, interestingly, disappear gradually in time.

Humans may not be very different from rats with respect to post-climax neurochemical mechanisms like these. After all, the reason scientists study rats is to try to understand mammalian behaviour generally. This page lists some papers describing post-climax effects. See child-pages for post-climax effects emphasising particular neurochemicals.


Brain areas activated after ejaculation in healthy young human subjects

Exposing orgasm in the brain: a critical eye



Endocrine, neural and pharmacological aspects of sexual satiety in male rats

Recovery from sexual exhaustion-induced copulatory inhibition and drug hypersensitivity follow a same time course: two expressions of a same process?

Revisiting post-ejaculation refractory time-what we know and what we do not know in males and in females

c-Fos expression related to sexual satiety in the male rat forebrain

Electrical stimulation of dorsal and ventral striatum differentially alters the copulatory behavior of male rats

Neural activation following sexual behavior in the male and female rat brain

Pharmacological and physiological aspects of sexual exhaustion in male rats

Post-climax – Dopamine Post-climax – Androgen receptors and serum testosterone Post-climax – Opioids Post-climax – Endocannabinoids Post-climax – Serotonin Post-climax – Prolactin Post-climax – Glutamate Other physiological shifts